Phoenix / Saturday, 18 September 2010
Community Reinvestment Challenge project
Preceding the CoreNet Global Summit Phoenix
Once again, Summit attendees arrived early to our host city in order to participate in the Community Reinvestment Challenge (CRC). Projects have varied in the past but all have offered the participants a venue for service and an opportunity to experience something unique to the host city while forging lasting bonds with fellow CoreNet Global members. In Phoenix, CRC supported the Welcome to America Project (WTAP) and the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC).
No one knew what to expect when we arrived for our day with WTAP, an organization who assists refugee families recognized by the State Department as those who are persecuted in their native country and unable to return due to threat of violence. We knew we would be delivering much needed furniture and other household items to these families, but we weren’t prepared to spend the majority of our time listening to their stories and having our eyes opened not only to the daily injustices around the world but also to the blessings we have as Americans. Our group was privileged to meet two families who had fled Iraq and one who had recently left Cuba. While we were there to welcome them to their new city of Phoenix, it was they who welcomed us into their lives and shared honestly about their past experiences. One participant, Nancy Sanquist, Vice President of Manhattan Software, was so moved that she put pen to paper. Read her impressions.
Simultaneously, another group was learning about Autism and the globally recognized work SARRC is doing with children and their families. After an introduction by Director Jeri Kendle, volunteers headed out under the Phoenix sun to plant trees in the Center’s garden and paint a mural on the garden wall. The garden will be planted in the coming months and will teach the kids gardening and landscaping skills as well as provide products for a local market which will engage the Community. After all of that hard work, volunteers were treated to a cookout with SARRC staff and volunteers which was thankfully indoors!
On Monday morning, Summit attendees rose early for a yoga class led by Jessica Tanner of Grayhawk Yoga. The class cost US$20.00 per person and all of the proceeds were donated to WTAP and SARRC. This event was driven by CoreNet Global Young Leaders who wanted to help these two organizations while promoting an active lifestyle. Participants loved being able to stretch and relax before the first full day of the Summit started and we will continue this event in Chicago.
Thank you to CresaPartners and Cedar Hill, TX Economic Development for their sponsorship, as well as the Chicago, Houston, Northern California, and Canada Chapters for your donations!
For more information about Community Investment Challenge, contact Laura DiBacco
via email (email@example.com) or telephone +1.404.589.3230.